Republican Brian Kemp faced a fresh attack Wednesday from Georgia Democrats who unveiled an attack ad that claims he failed to stop an "abuser" in the massage parlor industry.
The 30-second spot released by the Democratic Party of Georgia features shadowy images and grainy footage of Kemp as a narrator accuses his office of renewing the license of a therapist who pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman during a massage.
“Let that sink in for a moment,” says the voiceover. “Brian Kemp’s office renewed the abuser's license. If he isn’t protecting the victims, just who is Brian Kemp protecting?
This is a familiar line of attack against Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor who faces Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.
It stems from scrutiny of his handling of two Massage Envy clinics that face at least four complaints of therapists groping women during massages.
The therapists targeted with the complaints were banned from employment at any of the franchise’s locations, Massage Envy said in a recent statement.
It's the first televised attack ad lobbed by Democrats at Kemp since he coasted to the GOP nomination in July. As Abrams largely refrains from assailing Kemp, the state party has assumed the role of the sharp-elbowed attacker. The party also released a website Wednesday focusing on Kemp's "inaction."
Republican groups have already released several salvos targeting Abrams, including TV spots that link her to Nancy Pelosi, label her a “radical liberal” and spotlight her financial struggles.
The abuser pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman during a massage. She told him to stop. This wasn't his first offense. Yet Brian Kemp's office, which is responsible for overseeing licensing of Georgia massage therapists, renewed the abuser's license. Let that sink in for a moment. Brian Kemp's office renewed the abuser's license. If he isn't protecting the victims, just who is Brian Kemp protecting?
Here’s the ad:
About the Author
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.